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February 9, 2019
As a strike nears, differing perceptions about progress toward a deal on teacher pay
The district and the teachers union agreed to continue negotiating Saturday at 1 p.m.
The right stuff
February 8, 2019
The Denver district believes incentives keep good teachers at hard schools. The data is mixed.
“I would be incredibly skeptical of anyone who said that a teacher would work at a high-poverty or high-priority school for the money,” one teacher said.
February 6, 2019
How far apart are the Denver district and union on teacher pay? Here’s a breakdown
Denver teachers want more money for teacher pay, and a more predictable salary structure.
November 2, 2018
Educators at a second Chicago charter move toward strike
Between Chicago International and Acero, educators in Chicago’s charter sector have gained national attention — as either could be the nation’s first-ever charter strike.
November 1, 2018
5 reasons to watch Chicago’s historic charter contract negotiations
As Acero teachers verge on staging the nation's first charter school strike, here are’s five reasons why people in Chicago, and beyond, should pay attention.
February 21, 2013
Return of yellow school buses brings relief and new challenges
Assistant teacher Miguelina Valeria takes attendance as students exit the bus at Manhattan's P721 Wednesday. Five weeks ago, what happened at P721 in Manhattan on Wednesday would not have seemed extraordinary: Yellow buses pulled up by the main entrance and assistant teacher Miguelina Valerio took attendance and greeted students as they headed into school. But after a bus drivers' strike that lasted over a month, the yellow buses marked the end of nightmarish commutes for many parents and, for many students with special needs, a long-awaited return to class. P721 is a District 75 school that provides occupational training to high school students. During the strike, Valerio said, only 70 or 80 students came to school each day out of a student body of 200. “More than half the students were missing,” she said. “Little by little they’re coming back.”
September 10, 2012
Why New York isn’t on track to repeat Chicago’s teacher strike
When teachers in the country’s third-largest school district go on strike, the question is only natural: Could the same thing happen in New York…
September 10, 2012
Why Chicago teachers are on strike and what could come next
Chicago's long-threatened teacher strike, which began today, isn't just about Chicago teachers. It's also something of a referendum on the current moment in education policy. Of the many reasons for the strike, three stand out. We explain each one below — and then explain how the strike could evolve from here. In a second post, we'll explain why the Windy City's labor conflict matters here in the Big Apple. 1. A new mayor. Chicago teachers have been distressed for several years as budget cuts caused school closures and hundreds of layoffs. Tensions between the Chicago Teachers Union and the city mounted last year when former Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel was elected mayor, bringing with him an aggressive approach to cost-cutting, the support of national education reform advocacy groups, and a superintendent who cut his teeth under Joel Klein in New York City. Jean-Claude Brizard quickly earned criticism as "anti-teacher" based on his record in Rochester, N.Y., where 95 percent of teachers gave him a "no-confidence" vote shortly before he departed. Emanuel immediately announced that he was canceling raises promised to Chicago teachers and requiring teachers to work longer days and years. The extended-day gambit backfired when a state labor board ruled that Emanuel could not unilaterally require that kind of change. But Emanuel pressed on, offering incentives to schools that would add teaching time. He and Brizard also introduced a new rating system for schools, engineered closures and multiple "turnaround" efforts that cost some teachers their jobs, and introduced a new teacher evaluation system without union consent. (WBEZ Chicago has a comprehensive timeline of Emanuel's education initiatives and how they were received.) 2. A new teachers union. Emanuel's moves would have angered any teachers union. But since 2010, Chicago's has one of the most aggressive in the country. That's when a minority party known as the Caucus of Rank and File Educators, or CORE, took power from the reigning union leadership, which it criticized as complacent on issues of privatization and community engagement. After contract talks failed to satisfy the union this year, its members voted to authorize a strike in June, in a vote with a 91.5 percent turnout rate and a 90 percent approval rate. Since then, the city made several rounds of concessions and reached a deal with CTU about how to extend the school day. But several issues remained unresolved by the strike deadline on Sunday. CORE started out as a minority party in the union that was organizing with the goal of pushing the union's agenda to the left. As budget conditions worsened and city officials took an increasingly aggressive tone, the group gained traction with a platform that stood apart from most union leaders'.
November 18, 2011
Bus union confirms strike threat but says action is not imminent
School buses at Coney Island in 2008. The bus drivers union that Mayor Bloomberg warned earlier today could wage an imminent strike on the school bus system confirmed that a strike was "likely" but disputed that there were "immediate plans to do so." A labor dispute between the city and the union, the Amalgamated Transit Union's Local 1181, is over job protections for school bus drivers that would essentially guarantee employment for current employee regardless of which bus contractors win an upcoming contract for busing services. The city says it considers the strike illegal and is asking the National Labor Relations Board, which adjudicates conflict between employers and employees, to seek a court injunction to stop it. A strike would affect 152,000 of the city's 1.1 million students, including more than 50,000 students with special needs, according to the city. At a hastily assembled press conference today, Mayor Bloomberg said the union had not officially informed the city that it would strike but had signaled the intention strongly in conversations beginning Wednesday. The conversations took place because the city said it planned to announce that it would consider hiring new companies to provide pre-kindergarten busing. That announcement happened today. "They were very clear to our people that they would intentionally strike the system," Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said about Local 1181 at the press conference. In a statement, Amalgamated Transit Union's Local 1181 President Michael Cordiello confirmed the threats but said it would not happen right away and he criticized Bloomberg for painting a doomsday scenario.
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